First rule of any dog park: Never turn your back on a group of rambunctious dogs! I’ve forgotten this rule myself a time or two and had my legs taken out from under me. At any given time, they can be chasing one another about, burning off pent-up energy and not watching where humans are standing. A child waving a stick in the air while running may be having great fun, but in a dog park, it’s akin to waving a red flag in front of a friendly bull. A friend’s dog—a lovely, energetic, happy-go-lucky chocolate Lab—absolutely loves kids and wouldn’t intentionally hurt a fly. But if she sees someone yelling and waving a stick, it’s game on! She’s off and running like the Mad Hatter, and in her enthusiasm to get to the “prize,” she can lay someone out flat!
Photo: Michelle Duvall